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§48-23-601. Compilation of nonidentifying information on health history and social and genetic history.

(a) Prior to placement for adoption, the court shall require that the licensed adoption agency or, where an agency is not involved, the person, entity or organization handling the adoption, shall compile and provide to the prospective adoptive parents a detailed written health history and genetic and social history of the child. These histories must exclude information that would identify birth parents or members of a birth parent's family. The histories must be set forth in a document that is separate from any document containing such identifying information.

(b) The court, or an agency designated by the court, or judge thereof, shall provide to an agency, person, or organization handling the adoption the forms which must be utilized in the acquisition of the above-described detailed nonidentifying written health history and genetic and social history of the child. If the records cannot be obtained, the court shall make specific findings as to why the records are unobtainable.

(c) Records containing such nonidentifying information and which are set forth on a document described in subsection (a) above, separate from any document containing identifying data:

(1) Shall be retained by the clerk of the court for ninety-nine years; and

(2) Shall be available upon request, throughout the time specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection together with any additional nonidentifying information which may have been added on health or on genetic and social history, but which excludes information identifying any birth parent or member of a birth parent's family, or the adoptee or any adoptive parent of the adoptee, to the following persons only:

(A) The adoptive parents of the child or, in the event of death of the adoptive parents, the child's guardian;

(B) The adoptee upon reaching the age of eighteen;

(C) In the event of the death of the adoptee, the adoptee's spouse if he or she is the legal parent of the adoptee's child or the guardian of any child of the adoptee;

(D) In the event of the death of the adoptee, any progeny of the adoptee who is age eighteen or older; and

(E) The birth parent of the adoptee.

(d) The person requesting nonidentifying health history and genetic and social history shall pay the actual and reasonable costs of providing that information. This provision requiring payment of costs is subject to sections of this article that provide for the adoptee to obtain information by petitioning the court.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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